Irwin Mitchell Improves Business Legal 500 Rankings Following Year Of Growth

Improvements Reflect Hard Work and Investment

26.09.2013

By David Shirt

Irwin Mitchell’s fast-growing commercial legal practice reaffirmed its first-class reputation today after the top 20 firm recorded another impressive performance in the latest Legal 500 tables.

Across the UK, Irwin Mitchell which recently reported annual income in excess of £200m for the first time, saw 11 teams within its Business Legal Services (BLS) division improve their ranking position within the annual independent legal directory, with the firm now listed as a leading ‘tier one’ provider in seven areas.

Following the success of the previous year, Irwin Mitchell is now ranked as a top three firm in 35 of Legal 500’s business related categories.

Niall Baker, partner and BLS chief executive, said: “These latest Legal 500 results reflect the hard work from all our teams during what has and continues to be a tough economic environment. Since the start of 2012, Irwin Mitchell has announced 16 new partners within BLS and it also very pleasing to see that the investment that we have made in bringing in new, high calibre people is paying off.” 
 
The appointment of a 14-strong real estate team from DLA Manchester in February, which included partners Anita Weightman, Roy Beckett, Tony Weightman and Patrick Duffy, resulted in the firm improving its commercial property ranking from five to three.

Meanwhile, the firm’s real estate team in Sheffield boosted its position to tier one and is described in the guide as  being ‘as good as it gets’. Department head, Paul Firth, who joined the firm in 2011, is described as a ‘can-do partner who puts his clients first’, whilst Thomas Hall is said to offer ‘innovative commercial solutions’.

Meanwhile, the firm’s real estate team in Sheffield boosted its position to tier one and is described in the guide as  being ‘as good as it gets’. Department head, Paul Firth, who joined the firm in 2011, is described as a ‘can-do partner who puts his clients first’, whilst Thomas Hall is said to offer ‘innovative commercial solutions’.

Also in Sheffield, the Property Litigation team, led by the practice head Danny Revitt, moved up to tier two. Danny was said to offer ‘straightforward solutions’ and the team overall is described as providing ‘extremely sound commercial advice, which is valued by professionals and clients alike.’

In Leeds the firm retained its top three ranking after a strong year which saw it act in a number of high profile real estate transactions.

The arrival of Julie Morrissy and Steven Bate led to the firm being included for the first time in the construction category within Yorkshire, whilst the firm’s national Head of Planning, Oliver Martin, is praised for his ‘excellent response times’.

In London, the real estate team maintained its positions within the categories of ‘Commercial Property’, ‘Construction’; and ‘Property Finance’.

Head of department in London, Jon Vivian, is described as ‘professional’ and ‘experienced’ as well as providing ‘quality pragmatic advice with a strong legal foundation’. The ‘skilful and personable’ David Parton is recognised for his work acting for the London Business School, whilst Rob Thompson and Simon Tweedle are recommended in the ‘Property Finance’ category.

Irwin Mitchell’s other established business teams perform strongly in the guide.

The firm’s commercial litigation department retained its number one spot in Sheffield and is described as ‘one of the best regional commercial litigation firms’, with key contact Steve Beahan receiving praise for being ‘very pleasant to deal with, and efficient at case management’. Manchester also improved its position in ‘Commercial Litigation’, whilst the Birmingham team, headed up by Mark Elder, maintained its tier two ranking.
 
Within the ‘Dispute Resolution: Debt Recovery’ sector, Irwin Mitchell retained its number one spot within the London, Glasgow and Manchester offices. 

The firm’s Regulatory and Criminal Group also recorded some very strong results. Irwin Mitchell’s London office is ranked number one in the ‘White Collar Crime’ category, with partner Kevin Robinson being referred to as ‘very intelligent’ and a ‘very good strategist’.

In the area of Financial Services, Irwin Mitchell is described by Legal 500 as ‘an excellent alternative to the City firms’ for FCA investigations and enforcement actions, whilst in the ‘Corporate Crime’ section, the team improved its position from level three to two.

Also in the Regulatory team, Birmingham-based partner, David Egan, is again commended for his expertise in corporate manslaughter cases, fatal accidents at work, and breaches of environmental legislation. David’s ‘thorough, and tactically superb’ approach contributed to his team receiving number one ranking in the ‘Human Resources: Health & Safety’ category. 

Within the Corporate and Commercial arena, Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office is described as ‘first choice for complex work’ and saw its 2013 ranking improve. In Leeds the team, headed by the ‘very personable’ Paul Johnson is described as ‘dynamic’ and ‘providing a high-quality legal service at a sensible cost’.

The London team once again retained its ‘tier two’ ranking in the ‘Mergers & Acquisitions (deals up to £50m)’ category. The firm is reported to be ‘highly responsive’ with practice head Andrew Woolf  being ‘valued as highly for his deal tactics as for his legal input’.

The employment team maintained all of its top three or above rankings across the UK, whilst in Yorkshire, Nigel Bolton was recognised for his experience in public sector outsourcing, auto-enrolment and scheme funding issues. This has resulted in the Pensions team in the region improving its position from level four to three.

Niall Baker added: “These are very satisfying results and I’d like to thank everyone at the firm for their hard work. We have maintained our strong positions in all areas including real estate, employment, litigation, corporate and regulatory work and built on our success last year by improving our ranking in 10 areas of business legal services, whilst also appearing in new categories. We have continued to invest in improving the team nationally and I look forward to seeing further improvements next year.”

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